Installing new or custom wheels can help improve the overall look of your Ford. Sometimes, it also improves driving performance. Picking the right wheel isn’t as straightforward as it used to be. The advancement in smart technologies has made the process more complex. Before buying new wheels, it’s highly important that you find out what your tradeoffs are.
Changing your wheels could increase your vehicle’s responsiveness while driving on sensitive surfaces. However, it could affect traction or shorten/improve the lifespan of your tire treads. Having basic knowledge about fitment could also go a long way in ensuring that you have the right setup.
Below are a few things to consider when choosing your factory or custom replacement wheels for your Ford vehicle.
Do you own a car or truck? Many wheel manufacturers categorize wheels by vehicle type. Be sure to check what Ford model you drive before buying new wheels. They may not be designed for your car. Also, if you use your vehicle for a specific application, such as off-roading, consider picking wheels that can handle some off-roading.
Most vehicles offer an allowance of a few inches for wheel and tire diameter. This is to allow car owners to customize their wheels for performance and looks. The wheel diameter measures how wide the face of the wheel is from one side to the other or from top to bottom. Large diameters are trendy as they enhance high-speed performance and handling.
Most wheel manufacturers recommend having a wheel that’s between 2 and 3 inches narrower than your tire. A narrower wheel helps to reduce the pressure exerted on the tire. Be careful not to have a wheel that is too narrow as this may cause accelerated tear and wear. Tire makers often recommend a range of wheel widths for each type of tire.
Wheel offset refers to the distance between where the mounting flange gets into contact with the hub and wheel’s centerline. Offset can either be zero, positive, or negative. Most factory wheels have a positive offset where the track width is narrower and the mounting surface is closer to the external part of the wheel.
The bolt pattern of your new wheels should match that of your axles. Bolt patterns normally feature two numbers. A 5x100 bolt pattern shows a wheel that fits 5 lug nuts with each hole being 100 mm in diameter.
Like tires, wheels have a load rating that is determined by the bolt pattern and wheel construction. Forged wheels offer higher load ratings compared to steel and aluminum wheels. Also, wheels that feature larger bolt patterns and more lug nuts have a higher load rating. They are able to distribute the load more evenly.
Center bore refers to the hole found in the middle of the wheel. The bigger the bolt pattern, the larger the center bore will be. It’s always important to check the size of your center bore especially when fitting full-floating axles and overlocking hubs. It’s also critical in determining the wheel’s position on hub-centric wheels.
For your custom wheels, pick a design that is most appealing to you. Options include milled wheels that feature special cuts to showcase the metal look, machined wheels that feature different customizations for the spoke and face, and black wheels with a matte, satin, or glossy finish.